The Ethical Fashion Dairies: Why You Should Rent Your Next Outfit

27 July 2020

The saying is true, us girls often suffer from having a whole wardrobe but 'nothing to wear'. This used to be me every Friday and Saturday night (when we could go out, of course) I used to come up with all the excuses under the sun to justify why I couldn't wear an outfit I already had..'it's not the right colour', 'i don't have a bag or shoes to go with it', 'it's too dressy' blah blah blah - and that would be the perfect rational to buy new clothes.

Earlier this year, I made a pledge to start to buying ethically and really think about how the companies I was purchasing my clothes from meet certain sustainability criteria - do they pay their garment workers fairly? do they source materials correctly? are they diversely representing society on their leadership teams? For most of the shops I used to purchase from, the answer was no.

So, I turned to hiring my outfits.

Not to say I am the ethical queen. I still find it SO hard to say no to a Zara sale (although I did this summer) and I will often get approached by fast fashion brands to collaborate promoting their clothing, and if you look at my Instagram (shameless plug), this is obvious. Anyway, I am on a journey. I am learning to look at the clothes I already have by shopping my wardrobe, reducing impulse spending on fast fashion websites and hiring clothes.

So, is renting an outfit better than buying one? For me, Yes

As a blogger, there is a innate pressure to stay on top of the latest trends and style our outfits to look like they just came off the Isabel Marant SS20 catwalk. So, admittedly I have bought lots of clothes and only worn them once for a picture, then selling them on Depop or Vinted after the one wear (more shameless plugs) Through a lot of my teenage years, I embodied the 'Buy, Wear, Replace' fashion cycle.

Not anymore. Like the fashion industry, I have evolved. And my evolution has now involves hiring clothes. My favourite is Hirestreet, but there are lots of options out there such as Hurr Collective, Our Closet and Girl Meets Dress. Everything in this post is from the wonderful Hirestreet.

How does it actually work? 
It's fairly easy.

You have a browse on the hiring websites to find outfits that you truly love. It very much mirrors the normal shopping experience as once you find an item, select your size. But you are also select the how long you want to rent it for and the delivery date - there is usually a small fee to have them rented, it should be nothing more than £5. On most sites you can also add insurance to your item which covers any spillages or accidental damages on the clothing..

So, what makes renting better than buying an outfit?
1. Of course, there are the environmental impacts. And whilst reducing the purchasing of clothes and hiring instead may not be monumental, it's a small change which helps a bigger change. And if we all do it, just think of the impact! Most of the brands listed on hiring websites have a pretty good sustainability history too.

2. Money - Not constantly spending money on new clothes means I can use this money to rent designer clothes of higher quality that complement my body more and just look more lavish. This is great when it comes to dressing for special occasions.

3. Space - do you know how freeing it is to get rid of your clothes and be able to properly see each item that is in your wardrobe? I'm working towards building the perfect capsule wardrobe (blog post on this to come) so this is the way to wear anything that is outside of my capsule wardrobe selection.

4. You can experiment. With a host of brands on hiring websites, there is definitely something for everyone. And I have the opportunity to try items of clothing I would have never tried before without having to part with all the money. And If I do like it, I find a way to sustainably buy my new favourite outfit.

Next up in The Ethical Fashion Dairies, a look into some of the high street shops that present themselves as ethical. Are they really?

Outfit 1
Bag // Lawful London

Outfit 2

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